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Bertelsmann To Sell Units

As the German media giant prepares for a possible IPO, the company will shed some of its non-core businesses to cuts costs.

According to the Financial Times, Bertelsmann will sell off some of its operations as it prepares for a possible stock market flotation. Citing a company memo from Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Middelhoff, the newspaper said the planned “revolution'” at the privately held group was made possible when Reinhard Mohn-the company’s principal shareholder-accepted the idea of a new direction.

“Our aim is to achieve a return on sales of at least 10 percent in the next three years,” the FT quoted Middelhoff as saying. “Bertelsmann from today is preparing for a possible flotation.'”

The possibility of an initial public offering has been aired since the group bought 30 percent of RTL Group, Europe’s largest commercial broadcaster, from Belgian financier Albert Frere’s Groupe Bruxelles Lambert earlier this year in exchange for 25 percent of Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann received 67 percent of RTL in the deal, and GBL gained the right to issue its Bertelsmann stock on the market in five years.  

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